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Oh Canada! Peace in Our Time

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Nick Taylor became the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open in 69 years. This week he hopes to become the first back to back Canadian Open champion. Adam Hadwin hopes to avoid being the first Canadian competitor tackled by security in back to back years.

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Caught up in the excitement of the moment as fellow Canadian Nick Taylor rolled in a 75 foot putt on the 4th playoff hole to end Canada’s drought of victories in their national championship, Adam Hadwin sprinted onto the green with an open magnum of champagne to celebrate with his fellow Canuck. Wearing an olive hoodie and wielding the bottle of bubbly his presence was a little too threatening for one security guard. With the deftness of an NFL edge rusher, the guard brought Hadwin to the green with a perfect technique tackle. Hadwin did not drop the champagne.

At this year’s Canadian Open being competed this week at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario, Hadwin had the opportunity to see and speak with the security guard. Both shared a laugh about the incident and there were “no hard feelings” per Hadwin. Perhaps there is a chance for “peace in our time.”

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“It Was A Great Day Until It Wasn’t”

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We all remember the images of Rory McIlroy, head bowed in the scoring area at Pinehurst, as Bryson DeChambeau putted out to win the US Open immediately followed by he and his caddie Harry Diamond trunk slamming on the way out of town. McIlroy refused to speak to the press about his two missed short putts on both 16 and 18. Until today.

Speaking at his press conference at the Genesis Scottish Open Rory finally answered the questions that every reporter wanted to ask following the meltdown at Pinehurst. He also address the criticisms that both Hank Haney and Smylie Kaufmann raised last week about Rory’s choice of caddy.

4th Round at Pinehurst

With respect to the final round at the US Open McIlroy was very candid. “[I]t was a great day until it wasn’t. I did things on that Sunday that I haven’t been able to do the last couple of years. Took control of the golf tournament. Holed putts when I needed to… mostly when I needed to (with a slight laugh).” “It was a tough day. A tough few days after that.” “I look back on that day…I’ll learn a lot from it and I’ll hopefully put that to good use. It’s something that’s been a bit of a theme throughout my career and I’ve been able to take those tough moments and turn them into great things not very long after that.”

Haney, Kaufman Criticize Harry Diamond

Hank Haney, once the coach of Tiger Woods, and Smylie Kaufman, a former tour pro and now commentator, both publicly questioned Rory’s choice of caddy following Pinehurst. Haney questioned McIlroy using his friend Harry Diamond rather than a more professional looper like veteran Steve Williams. Kaufman was quoted as saying, “I felt like Harry Diamond really should have stepped in on the 15th hole.” “I don’t really ever see Harry stepping in a ton. Rory always, if he has a question, he’ll ask, but for the most part, Rory kind of goes and does his thing…”

Rory didn’t mince words defending Diamond during his interview. “You know, it’s certainly unfair. Hank Haney has never been in that position. Smylie has been in that position once…I just wish that you know, these guys that criticize when things don’t go my way, they never say anything good when things do go my way. So where were they when I won Dubai earlier this year or Quail Hollow or the two FedEx Cups that I’ve won with Harry or the two Ryder Cups or whatever? They are never there to say Harry did such a great job when I win…”

Rory seems motivated. He might lap the Scottish Open field this week.

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Keegan Bradley Surprise Pick to Captain 2025 Ryder Cup Team

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In a move nobody saw coming, the PGA of America selected Keegan Bradley to Captain the 2025 Ryder Cup being hosted by Bethpage State Park on the heralded Black Course. Ever since the US was trounced by the Europeans in Rome last fall most on this side of the pond presumed Tiger Woods, winner of the 2002 US Open at Bethpage, would be named the US Captain. Bradley, a 6 time winner on the PGA Tour (including the 2011 PGA Championship), at 39 becomes the youngest US Ryder Cup Captain in 40 years.

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A Surprise Even for Keegan

How shocking was the Bradley pick? Keegan never interviewed for the position. He received a call Monday from 2023 Captain Zach Johnson, PGA of America President John Lindert and PGA of America Special Advisor Seth Waugh offering him the position. “I didn’t have one conversation with anybody until I was told I was the captain” said Keegan at his introductory news conference today. “I had trouble when they called me. I felt funny after the call because I don’t think I reacted in the way they were expecting me to. I was in complete shock. And it was heavy.” “I don’t think I’ll ever have a bigger surprise in my live, but something Seth said to me was, you know, ‘Your number was called. It’s time for you to step up.’ And when he told me that, I sort of…it sort of hit me. You know that this is a heavy job.”

Bradley’s Bethpage Connections

There probably isn’t a US professional more familiar with the Black Course. While from New England, Keegan attended and played golf at St. John’s University in nearby Queens, New York. During the time he played for St. John’s there was a poorly kept secret that the SJU team had access to the Black to practice weekly. Former St. John’s coach Frank Darby and former Director of Agronomy (superintendent) Craig Currier had an arrangement by which the SJU team would park at the maintenance building lot on the opposite side of Round Swamp Road from the clubhouse on Mondays when the Black is closed. As long as the team members only played holes 3 through 14 and didn’t cross Round Swamp, nobody would be the wiser. Of course, there was that one time…”my senior year we were playing…and we were just like, ‘we’re going over.’ “We did it. We went over. And we got in so much trouble. They called the police…”

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Two to Watch at the Rocket Mortgage

15 Year Old Miles Russell and Golf Galaxy Employee Nick Bienz Make PGA Tour Debuts

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This week the PGA Tour heads to Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the first event in a month that is neither a Major nor a Signature Event. Defending Champion Rickie Fowler leads a field that features Tom Kim, runner up in a playoff at the Travelers, playing for the ninth consecutive week. Other top players teeing it up include Akshay Bhatia, Cam Young and Australian Olympian Min Woo Lee.

Two competitors to watch this week are two who are making their first swings in a PGA Tour event. One is making his first appearance above the state championship level. 15 year old Miles Russell became the youngest competitor to make the cut on the Korn Ferry Tour earlier this season. Golf Galaxy employee Nick Bienz made it through Monday qualifying to earn his way into the 156 player field.

Miles Russell – Sponsor’s Exemption

Most golf fans had never heard of Miles Russell until April when he became the youngest player to make the cut in a Korn Ferry Tour event, finishing T-20 at the LECOM Suncoast Classic. The AJGA Player of the Year and winner of the Junior PGA Championship and Junior PLAYERS will make his PGA Tour debut this week on a sponsor’s exemption. People are already comparing the 135 pound Russell to Tiger Woods. In today’s day and age it is not surprising that he already has NIL deals with both Taylor Made and Nike.

Nick Bienz – Monday Qualifier with a Buzz

Nick Bienz arrived at Monday qualifying for the Rocket Mortgage with nothing more than his clubs and the clothes he was wearing. Bienz had never played in an event above the state open level and his job at Golf Galaxy allows him to maintain his professional status. Thanks to a story broken by Ryan Francis, (Monday Q Info on X @acaseofthegolf1), Nick will be the golfer to root for this week.

Bienz teed off early on Monday and surprised himself by shooting a 65. Nervous to see if he actually was going to live his dream and play in a PGA Tour event, he had a beer as he watched the scores come in. Then a second. And a third. His 65 didn’t quite get him into the field. The 65 got him into a 5 for 4 playoff. According to Monday Q Info, the fans were drunk and boisterous as they watched the 8 holes needed to finalize the field. Nick had a few in him as the playoff commenced. When it ended he had played his way into his first PGA Tour start.

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